GAEMS Sentinel XP Pro review: Briefcase gaming

How much do you want to be able to take your console gaming on the go? Depends. How much are you willing to spend on a GAEMS Sentinel XP Pro? Our review.

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If there's anything that Shacknews has come to appreciate over the past couple of years, it's the idea of gaming on the go. In particular, it's the idea of high-quality gaming on the go. GAEMS has been looking to step up its game over the past couple of years with new models of its portable gaming monitor cases, including the GAEMS Sentinel Pro XP.

The setup

GAEMS Sentinel XP Pro

The first thing to note is that while the Sentinel Pro XP is a portable solution, it's not exactly something you'll be taking out everywhere. Beyond it having the dimensions of an average briefcase, it still needs several elements to work. So don't expect to take this thing out on a plane or at a bus stop. It's more of a convenience to bring out in a hotel room.

The Sentinel Pro XP comes with a 12V DC power supply, HDMI cable, and remote control (powered by a single lithium battery). The power supply is for the GAEMS monitor itself, but keep in mind that you'll also need a power supply for whatever console you'll attach to this thing. The potential for a small clutter of wires is there, so organize your setup carefully.

The other thing to note is that despite its appearance, the Sentinel Pro XP should not be used as an actual briefcase. There are several warnings indicating that outside peripherals, as well as the device's wires, should be stored externally, with GAEMS helpfully providing a small bag for these items. This is to prevent scratching the monitor, as well as scratching the console. Be extra careful, because if there's one thing to note about this monitor, it's that it feels extremely fragile.

However, the console can be kept inside, with a soft EVA foam base and velcro straps able to protect its base. These also allow the device to adjust itself to consoles of different sizes, making it easy to strap in a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One. Yes, it's entirely possible to use a small PC, laptop, or a Nintendo Switch dock here, but the straps may not be necessary with these devices.

The performance

GAEMS Sentinel XP Pro

Cumbersome setup aside, the Sentinel Pro XP is a marvelous monitor setup. Games come across in full 1080p and while there are full monitor controls, the monitor already defaults to the best visual resolution. I was able to get video quality that was just as good as my 1080p Vizio living room TV, so there was no noticeable downgrade when playing Marvel's Spider-Man or Starlink: Battle for Atlas. If anything, the LED monitor had these games looking better in certain places. The video quality will serve the casual crowd well, but with the monitor's resolution maxing out at 1080p and a 60Hz refresh rate, it may not satisfy those wanting a more high-end experience.

The audio capability is where the Sentinel Pro XP particularly shines. Its stereo front-facing 3W stereo speakers won't impress hardcore audiophiles, but the sound quality will exceed most casual users' expectations. Though it should be noted that the monitor defaults to maximum volume to try and blow people out of their chairs right away. But the audio quality does become far superior when using headphones. Beyond offering a more immersive sound for headset users, there are dual jacks available, allowing for two players to enjoy the higher-quality sound.

The trick ultimately becomes finding where to set up shop, because the Sentinel Pro XP needs a flat surface. The monitor needs a solid surface for the kickstand to hold it upright, otherwise the monitor gets a little flimsy and might even shut by accident. But if you're a frequent traveler sitting in a hotel room, the effort will be worthwhile given what this can deliver.

The package

GAEMS Sentinel XP Pro

For what it does, the GAEMS Sentinel Pro XP is a nice piece of portable tech. The 17" LED monitor matches and sometimes exceeds the picture quality of an average 1080p television. But while it does support Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, those actually looking for that 4K resolution won't be helped here. But as something to bring out on long trips or lonesome hotel stays, this does its job in spades.

As a carrying case, it's fairly effective. The velcro straps and foam base take care of the average console. However, at 17 inches in both width and height, the case can get a little bulky. It doesn't help that peripherals need to be carried outside the case, due to the risk of breaking what feels like a fragile LED monitor.

Ultimately, though, it's the price tag of $349.99 that may turn off some prospective users. Coming in at the price of the average console, the Sentinel Pro XP comes across as a luxury item. While it certainly does its job of offering quality PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gaming on the go, the asking price may have the average user opting to take their chances with their Nintendo Switch in Handheld Mode.


This review is based on hardware provided by the manufacturer. The GAEMS Sentinel XP Pro is available now. It retails for $349.99.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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Pros
  • Solid travel solution for gaming in hotel rooms
  • LED monitor offers better picture quality than the average 1080p TV
  • Good sound quality, especially when using dual-jack headphones
  • Foam base and velcro straps take care of your console
  • Handy briefcase design makes it easy to lug around
Cons
  • Monitor feels fragile
  • Having to carry peripherals outside the case gets cumbersome
  • Monitor resolution not quite good enough to take advantage of PS4 Pro and Xbox One X
  • Requiring multiple outlets makes it less of a 'gaming on the go' experience
  • Price tag may be a turn off
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